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Qantas cuts international capacity as coronavirus bites

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:52s - Published
Qantas cuts international capacity as coronavirus bites

Qantas cuts international capacity as coronavirus bites

Australian airline Qantas announced on Tuesday (March 10) it will cut its international capacity by nearly 25% over the next six months and delay an order for Airbus A350 planes, all part of sweeping changes in response to a coronavirus-led plunge in passenger demand.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Qantas cuts international capacity as coronavirus bites

Major Australian airline Qantas will take sweeping steps to deal with a plunge in bookings - sparked by the coronavirus.

That collapse in demand is punishing airlines around the globe.

Qantas will cut international routes by nearly a quarter over the next six months.

And its chairman and chief executive will forgo salary for the rest of the financial year.

CEO Alan Joyce spoke to reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) QANTAS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ALAN JOYCE, SAYING: "The expansion of the coronavirus into Europe and North America has been the biggest driver of the hit in demand that we've seen in those markets.

So, we have seen Asia deteriorate further.

We've seen North America and Europe have a big hit in forward bookings.

And this will be a survival of the fittest." The carrier is grounding around 38 planes in total -- more than double the 18 it announced last month.

And in a blow to plane manufacturer Airbus, Qantas also said they'll delay an order of A350 jets.

It was expected to place an order for up to twelve of the airliners by the end of the month, they're capable of the world's longest flights, from Sydney to London.

On top of all this, top Qantas leadership will see their salaries slashed by a third and the company will encourage staff to take time off.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) QANTAS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ALAN JOYCE, SAYING: "We will be trying to avoid redundancies as best we can.

We are, in this situation, with this schedule, having over 2,000 people that are surplus to that schedule.

We will be managing that reduction through asking people to take paid leave and unpaid leave." The International Air Transport Association says all those passengers staying home could equal up to $113 billion dollars in lost revenue across the entire air travel industry this year.




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